Winners of the Co-operative Awards are announced

 Co-op Awards 2010

Six dynamic and successful businesses have been honoured with national Co-operative Awards at Co-operatives 2010 in Plymouth, to recognise their innovation and contribution to the co-operative sector.

Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society, Delta-T Devices, Shared Interest Society, The Handmade Bakery, whomadeyourpants? and Winyates Co-operative Housing received the Co-operative Award in recognition of their excellent work in diverse areas of the economy.

The six winners were chosen from a diverse shortlist and all excelled in the past year to help promote, unite and develop their business as well as the co-operative movement.

David Button, Chair of Co-operatives UK, which organised the awards said: “The Co-operative Awards 2010 celebrate the diversity, innovation and excellent work of co-operatives across the UK and all six winners are worthy recipients of these awards.”

Chelmsford Star is a retail co-operative society based in Mid-Essex, which was formed in 1867, and now has an annual turnover approaching £70million.

Delta-T Devices, in Cambridge, was founded in 1971 and specialises in instruments for environmental science, in particular: agronomy, plant physiology, meteorology, soil moisture, solar energy studies and environmental monitoring.

Shared Interest Society, in Newcastle, is a co-operative lending society that aims to reduce poverty in the world by providing fair and just financial services. The world’s only 100% fair trade lender, Shared Interest annually lends over £33 million and work in 36 countries around the globe.

The Handmade Bakery in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire, which only started trading in March last year, is an innovative community supported artisan bakery which has already built up a reputation for the care and passion everyone puts into bread making.

Southampton-based co-operative, whomadeyourpants? is a worker co-operative specifically formed to empower marginalised women by providing flexible employment, education and a social and community space. The organisation makes ethical underpants from materials sold on by industry at the end of season.

And Winyates Co-operative is one of five self managed neighbourhood co-operatives supported by Redditch Co-operative Homes in Redditch, Worcestershire, which provides affordable housing to people in need by giving them the power to control and manage their future.

The awards were presented to the winners during the Gala Dinner at Co-operatives 2010 in Plymouth – part of Co-operatives Fortnight.

To find out more about the co-operative sector please visit

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Alex Bird is an experienced co-operative searcher and activist. Follow him @coopalex3
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